Are You? Are you sure? How can you tell? And What Does it Mean? Or Maybe “Born Again?”

When I was a Jehovah’s Witness , we made fun of the term “born again,” however it was right in our stupid faces. I really think our eyes were closed to this passage because of its location in the scriptures.

The most famous scripture in the Bible is John 3:16.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  (Joh 3:16 MKJV)

Consequently, we as JW’s never , (in my case, 15 years), looked up at the scriptures preceding  John 3:16. How could we have missed it? ur eyes were shut, for sure, because John 3:1-15 goes like this:

And there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.  (Joh 3:1 MKJV)

The Greek word used for “born again,”can also be rendered “from above.” The birth that Jesus spoke of was either a new birth or a heavenly birth-or both. I looked up the Greek word “ano~then in “Abington’s Strong’s Concordance and the def:”from above, from th first, anew.”

He came to Jesus by night and said to Him, Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no man can do these miracles which you do unless God is with him.  (Joh 3:2 MKJV)

Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  (Joh 3:3 MKJV)

Nicodemus said to Him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb and be born?  (Joh 3:4 MKJV)

Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  (Joh 3:5 MKJV)

That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  (Joh 3:6 MKJV)

Do not marvel that I said to you, You must be born again.  (Joh 3:7 MKJV)

It seems that Jesus was speaking of a heavenly birth because he later used the analogy of the wind, coming from some unknown heavenly force, to depict the spiritual birth. You cannot see the wind, but you know it exists, the same with the Holy Spirit. You can feel both.

The Spirit breathes where He desires, and you hear His voice, but you do not know from where He comes, and where He goes; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.  (Joh 3:8 MKJV)

Nicodemus answered and said to Him, How can these things be?  (Joh 3:9 MKJV)

Jesus answered and said to him, Are you the teacher of Israel and do not know these things?  (Joh 3:10 MKJV)

Truly, truly, I say to you, We speak what we know and testify what we have seen. And you do not receive our witness.  (Joh 3:11 MKJV)

If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how shall you believe if I tell you heavenly things?  (Joh 3:12 MKJV)

And no one has ascended up to Heaven except He who came down from Heaven, the Son of Man who is in Heaven.  (Joh 3:13 MKJV)

But even as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,  (Joh 3:14 MKJV)

so that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  (Joh 3:15 MKJV)

 

 But Nicodemus clearly understood Jesus to be speaking of a second birth-being born again. Jesus explains the heavenly in John 3:6-8, contrasting being born of the flesh with being born of the spirit.

Salvation: is an incredible gift of Grace.

The use of the word “Salvation” in both the NT and the OT are pretty much the same. It could mean deliverance from mistreatment. Deut. 22:27; 28:29; 2 Sam. 14:4. In the NT, the concept of salvation includes most of the fundamentals of the OT and adds spiritual dimensions. Personal deliverance and repentance  are Divine and Eternal through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Even the Jews are going to be delivered. Since Luke reminded us of the ongoing Abrahamic Covenantw

“And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying,  (Luk 1:67 MKJV)


Blessed is the Lord, the God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people  (Luk 1:68 MKJV)


and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David,  (Luk 1:69 MKJV)


as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from eternity;  (Luk 1:70 MKJV)


that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us,  (Luk 1:71 MKJV)


to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant,  (Luk 1:72 MKJV)


the oath which He swore to our father Abraham,  (Luk 1:73 MKJV)

Romans 1:13-23
THE ONLY POWER OF SALVATION
We owe everything to our Lord, but since we can make Him no direct return, He has made men His residuary legatees. We are to think of others as having a claim upon us for His dear sake. In helping them, we repay Him. But note the Apostle’s humility-as much as in me is, Rom_1:15:

“But I would not have you ignorant, brothers, that oftentimes I purposed to come to you, and was kept back until the present; that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other nations.”  (Rom 1:13 MKJV)

Paul was not indifferent to the claims of intellectual culture. He had been thoroughly trained in Hebrew and Greek literature. The high culture of the Roman world was appreciated by the student of Gamaliel for what it was worth; but he was not ashamed to preach the gospel in its capital because it carried with it the divine dynamic. It was power unto salvation. The Stoic, for instance, had a high ethical code, but it was ineffective for want of the driving power of Pentecost. The one condition is faith-to everyone that believeth, Rom_1:16:

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”  (Rom 1:16 MKJV)

Every man born into the world has an opportunity of knowing right and wrong from the inner witness of conscience, and of learning something of God from His works. Men will be judged by their attitude toward these two luminaries. Notice, however, that sad, strong word! Too many hold down the truth,

Rom_1:18: For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,  (Rom 1:18 MKJV)

 They deliberately endeavor to throttle or suppress it.

© f.b. meyers, inc.

Paul’s letter to the Romans, is his clearest and most detailed explanation of the gospel message. He goes on to clarify that the “Good News of Christ,” is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.” This is “Grace.”

The Greek word used by Paul for “salvation,” literally means “deliverance,” or “preservation.” In a spiritual context, the idea is rescue from the power and domination of sin.

Paul and the NT writers portray Jesus Christ , on the basis of His sacrificial death on the cross in place of sinners, (us), as Author and Provider of those who repent and trust in Jesus will experience its blessings. The blessings are : 

  • Justification: which means the Divine act of declaring sinners to be righteous on account of their faith in Jesus. He paid for the sins completely and finally on the cross, and through faith in Him, their sins can be forgiven.
  • Sanctification: is the process in which God develops the new life of the believer and gradually brings it to perfection.  
  • Glorification: is the ultimate salvation of the whole person. This occurs when we are face to face with our Savior in His coming Kingdom. At that time, God will completely mold us into the image of Christ. Then we will be able to enjoy complete fellowship with God, singing His praises forever.
  • The benefit of Salvation includes; Reconciliation and Adoption.

When our sins are forgiven, we move from a position of being God’s enemy to God’s beloved children.

How? Jesus paid for our life by dying on the cross in our place. He died for us in such an ignominious way. Please watch “The Passion.” You will get a better perspective.

Am I saved? How do I know for sure I am?

Have you felt anything since becoming saved? Any emotion that wasn’t there before, like “Love?” Remember what hurts you hurts the Holy Spirit. Also, I can tell you nothing could make me cry when my heart was stoney, however, when I was saved, my heart became so tender I cried with the Holy Spirit, when watching the news, i.e. or of course, tears of joy. There is much emotion in your heart and soul. Do you feel it?

What about the Holy Spirit? Jesus describes Him as a Comforter.

“And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, so that He may be with you forever, ” (Joh 14:16 MKJV)
“the SSpirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive because it does not see Him nor know Him. But you know Him, for He dwells with you and shall be in you.”  (Joh 14:17 MKJV)

He is called the Comforter, because that is what He is. However, if you have read any of my blogs about the “Holy Spirit,” you would understand the scriptural third part of God.  A lot of Christians today do not really understand the Holy Spirit and how He works for us. He is God in us. Imagine?? 

For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  (Joh 3:16 MKJV)

John 2:23-3:8

NEW LIFE FROM ABOVE THE NEED OF ALL

A solemn question is suggested by Joh_2:24:But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all  (Joh 2:24 MKJV)

Can Jesus trust Himself to us? We must show ourselves worthy of His trust. In Joh_3:1-36; Joh_4:1-54:  we have two remarkable instances of the Lord’s intimate knowledge of the human heart.

Apparently Nicodemus had shrunk from identifying himself with John’s baptism. He was one of the richest men in Jerusalem, and our Lord addressed him as the teacher, Joh_2:10:And he said to him, Every man at the beginning sets forth good wine, and when men have drunk well, then that which is worse. You have kept the good wine until now.  (Joh 2:10 MKJV)  He was willing to talk about systems of truth and schemes of philosophy; but the Master knew that more, much more, was necessary; there must be the emergence of His soul into the experience of an enlarged and fuller life. The phrase, “the new birth,” the Jews always used for Gentiles, and it greatly startled Nicodemus to learn that there was needed for himself the same change as was required by Gentiles before entering the Jewish commonwealth. In speaking of water, our Lord probably refers to the baptism of John, in which men confessed their sins and expressed their desire to leave the past behind and to enter a fuller experience of the life of God. The new life begotten by the Spirit of God is as mysterious as the wind. That Spirit, bearing the germ of a new life, rejoices to enter each open casement and to fill each vacuum, wherever one will.

© f.b. meyers

Regeneration: in which the Spirit of God indwells a repentant sinner and imparts eternal life to his or her spiritually dead soul.

REGENERATION: The Heirs of Grace How could we have missed those scriptures in John 3:1-15? You realize that being born again or regenerated comes only from God, in all of His parts. This time it is the “comforter,” the Holy Spirit that comes to us and indwells in our soul. Being saved is special, and we should treat it as such. Didn’t you ever hear “Do not Grieve the Holy Spirit?” 

“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you are sealed until the day of redemption.  (Eph 4:30 MKJV)
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and tumult and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.  (Eph 4:31 MKJV)
And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.”(Eph 4:32 MKJV)

Let’s take a litmus test. The regeneration means that the Spirit of God changes you to conform to be more Jesus-like. Do you feel your conscience getting more sensitive, or maybe your thinking process has transformed so that you would not have that strong temptation to go backwards? Have you given up worldly things? This can be my opinion. I believe strongly that if the Holy Spirit is with you, there is a warm calm feeling about you.

GRACE: A word frequently used by the Psalmists to describe  God’s character. In the NT, the Greek translation, “charis,” usually means divine favor or goodwill. But it can also involve “that which gives joy,” and “that which is a free gift.”

This is important because the Apostle Paul made a point through his letters to talk about it. It is a free gift of Salvation, not through works, nor anything we can claim, but a gift to mankind. Remember John 3:16.  If you would read my blog, I recently wrote called, ” My Testimony,” all would become clear, but not everyone get the “lightning bolt”, like I did. There are many ways that you receive this gift of the Holy Spirit. Confess your sins to Jesus, be truly repentant and He will be in your life and you will experience that unspeakable joy I always talk about.

“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. And I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.”(Eze 36:26 MKJV)

Believe lt!

 

 

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